Fmr. Nuclear Launch Officer Tells Congress to Take Up ‘No First Use’

Global Zero’s Dr. Bruce Blair Offers Safer Alternative to Trump’s Nuclear Agenda

WASHINGTON DC – Today, the House Armed Services Committee held a hearing on the future of the US nuclear arsenal. Dr. Bruce Blair, a former Minuteman nuclear launch officer and research scholar at Princeton University, testified as a key witness and presented Global Zero’s proposal, the Alternative Nuclear Posture Review, developed in response to the Trump administration’s official Nuclear Posture Review. The alt-NPR is the first of its kind: it takes the Pentagon’s own defense requirements and shows they can be satisfied with 71% fewer nuclear weapons.

Following the hearing, Dr. Blair, co-founder of Global Zero, the international movement for the elimination of nuclear weapons, issued the following statement:

“With the recent impasse in talks with North Korea, the dissolution of the Iran nuclear deal, and the withdrawal from the INF Treaty, No First Use remains a tangible step toward strategic stability. By adopting a No First Use policy, the U.S. would commit to never initiating a nuclear attack. It would have a stabilizing effect during a crisis, relieving pressure on another nuclear power to launch first before the U.S. does, and reducing the risk of the another nuclear power launching on false warning. The dangerous and unrealistic notions of nuclear warfighting cannot be what we solely rely upon to shape our posture and drive our investments. It is time we pivot to a secure second-strike deterrence-only posture and leave warfighting to other weapons.”

In February, Global Zero launched a new global “No First Use” initiative to convince the world’s nine nuclear-armed nations to commit to never using nuclear weapons first. Global “No First Use” would dramatically reduce the risk of any nuclear use, stabilize crises and enable eventual deep reductions in nuclear forces.


Last September, Dr. Blair authored a new expert report that details a re-envisioning of US nuclear policy that rejects the US government’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR). This “alternative NPR” argues that the Trump administration’s nuclear plans go far beyond legitimate goals of national security, and actually promotes a nuclear arms race and nuclear warfighting. By contrast, Global Zero’s approach would see the US adopt a deterrence-only nuclear policy based on a greatly reduced second strike capability, which has been endorsed by former commander of all US nuclear forces. Gen. (ret.) James E. Cartwright.

READ THE REPORT HERE: The End of Nuclear Warfighting